In a strategic position in the middle of the Mediterranean, between the European and African continents, Mazara has always been a target for would-be conquerors. The port canal, where Italy’s first fishing fleet centres all its activities, lies at the mouth of the river Mazara that crosses the city. The city has always been a crossroads, a special hub of cultural and commercial exchange. In this sense, openness to otherness and multi-ethnicity is written into its history, something that is still evident today through the presence of the large Tunisian community. The town has developed since the time of the Phoenicians, and its name, Mazar, conferred on it by the Greek city of Selinunte, carries with it the idea of being of fortress. In memory of the role as capital played by this largest province in Arabic Sicily, it adopted the name Mazara del Vallo in 1862. The city held onto the cultural matrix in its intricate urban fabric, which was gained during the lively and prosperous Islamic period. At the time of the Normans, it was the site of one of the most ancient bishoprics in Sicily, and in 1097, Ruggero held the first parliament there. Absolutely not to be missed is the Dancing Satyr, an extraordinary bronze statue from the Hellenistic period, found in the Straits of Sicily. Meanwhile, in the surrounding countryside there are interesting nature sites such as The Natural Integrated Reserve of Lake Preola and Gorghi Tondi, as well as that of Paludi di Capo Feto and Margi Spanò.
Local government offices: 1, Palazzo di Città, Via del Carmine, 91026 Mazara del Vallo (TP)
Telephone switchboard: 0923 671111